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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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V.-THE BLACK CHARTER

CHAINS OF LIBERATION

No people must be forced under sovereignty under which it does not
wish to live. No territory must change hands except for the purpose of
securing those who inhabit it a fair chance of life and liberty. No in-
demnities must be insisted on except those that constitute payment for mani-
fest wrongs done. No readjustments of power must be made except such
as will tend to secure the future peace of the world and the future welfare
and happiness of its people.
(Woodrow WilsonA message to the Russian Government, June 8,1917).
The monumental crime of the partition of Poland has already been
repaired by the bayonets of the victorious Allies ... No part of the Treaty
of Versailles was more in keeping with the conscience of the civilised world
than this great act of justice and vindication . . . The preservation and
integrity of Poland must be regarded as a cause commanding the regard of
all the world . . .
(Winston S. Churchill, May 4th, 1941).
Eighty per cent of the Polish territory was already occupied by the
Russian armies when Tsar Alexander I, arrived at the Vienna Congress
in 1814. Anxious to have his * right5 to the title of Polish King recognised,
he had appeared willing to restore to Poland her frontiers of 1772, on the
Dniepr and the Duna, i.e., as she had existed before her Partitions.
At that juncture the Allieseven Austria and Prussia (not to mention
Britain and France) would have infinitely preferred the Polish Common-
wealth restored in all its integrity rather than to see it united with Russia
under the Tsarist sceptre, with the latter's armies garrisoned so near
Berlin and Vienna.
As soon as the Tsar learned, however, that the Allies regarded his
ambition to be acknowledged as King of Poland merely as a question of
diplomatic courtesy, he changed his intentions regarding the future of
that country. When England's representative, Lord Castlereagh urged
him to recognise the freedom of Poland he had brusquely replied. " C*est
moi avec 600,000 hommes, on ne negode pas beaucoup ". The Army
which the Tsar held in Poland, and the evergreen impression of the great
services which Russia had rendered in fighting Napoleon, and above all
else the fear of a aew war, combined to make the Allies accept the arrange-
ment forwarded by the Tsar, and Poland was left reduced to less than
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